Video shows bags delaying evacuation

Image: © iStockphoto | Rrrainbow

Passenger video from yesterday’s accident to an Emirates Boeing 777 at Dubai shows something anyone with interest and commitment to aviation safety would rather not see: some passengers reaching for their luggage in an aircraft evacuation.

The Emirates flight from Thiruvananthapuram, India crashed while landing at Dubai at 1245 local time. Some media reports have said the landing gear was not down, and the authoritative website, the Aviation Herald, says the aircraft was attempting to go around from low height and had retracted the gear. A Metar forecast reproduced on the AvHerald shows ambient temperature at 49 degrees. A firefighter died while responding to the emergency.

While news reports say all passengers and crew made it out alive from the burning aircraft, the unnecessary delay and congestion caused by dragging suitcases in an evacuation could be the difference between life and death the next time this mercifully rare event happens.

As Flight Safety Australia reported in February 2016 reaching for luggage appears to be a symptom of panic at least as much as selfishness, and not all aircraft evacuations experience the problem. As the story says, leaving bags behind is a shared responsibility: for passengers to comply and for airlines and regulators to consistently inform why it is important for safety.

And yes, taking a video during an aircraft evacuation is not a recommended practice, but this shaky and jumpy footage shows the camera operator was not wasting time setting up composed shots.


  1. No one ever leaves there baggage behind,

    There should be a system where the captain can lock the overhead lockers during an emergency event.
    Also announcing during preflight safety brief of such a system.

  2. Good to see that the issue of recording a video was also not lost in the article either

  3. The situation of a commercial airliner having come to a complete stop and Cabin Crew being faced with an emergency that is without doubt life threatening, is a dilemma that has occurred many, many times in years gone by. Ultimately this is why Cabin Crew are required to be on board, to ensure the safety of passengers and in the worst case scenario, to evacuate them outside to safety!
    If the accident is survivable, the scenario plays out and the Cabin Crew are hailed as having been the direct link between passengers surviving the impact and subsequently being able to escape the bad situation.
    However, in recent years a very worrying trend has been displayed that shows passengers demonstrating a total lack of regard for their fellow passengers and with willful intent not complying with directions from Cabin Crew.
    What seems to be hampering the Cabin Crew in fulfilling their role as a Safety Professional and directing passengers to evacuate an unsafe environment is the travelling public themselves – they are retrieving their worldly possessions from overhead lockers and underneath seats, in the process preventing free flow of evacuating people to the available exit. What is to be done?
    How long will it be before there is an occurrence that sees passengers survive the impact but then we see many fatalities occur within the cabin as a direct result of in cabin baggage having become an obstacle to create a trip hazard, OR causing damage to the evacuation slide causing it to deflate and become unusable??
    Who should be responsible for the education of the travelling public??

  4. whoever took the video couldn’t get out anyway due to the people getting their bags. Might as well spend your (possibly) last moments getting footage of why you died

  5. Need a locking mechanism on the overhead bins interlocked with the fasten seatbelt lighting system – any time the captain flicks that switch the bins lock.

  6. Preflight safety instructions should emphasize this point forcefully – not insipidly (as at present)

  7. No offence, for some of nations they ever listen instructions, all they care about is their personal assets.

  8. Last people off the aircraft is cabin crew. Delays caused by these selfish shits could cost our lives! Please do soething urgently!!!

  9. Last people off the aircraft is cabin crew. Delays caused by these selfish shits could cost our lives! Please do something urgently!!!

  10. Maybe if possible some form of locking bar could be activated from the flight deck, so that in cases like this the over heads can not be opened, this then would allow everyone a better chance of being able to get off. Also as mentioned before, this could be shared in Preflight safety instructions

  11. indians in dubai are poor slaves, is normal they try to save their stuff. they don’t know about safety rules they thought they were loosing something.

  12. Not racist, but sympathetic to their situation perhaps.
    Yes, Susan Rice comments tell it all.

  13. In the cabin, flight attendants should keep things from hurting people and people from hurting themselves because of things. So people should believe and evacuate what attendants say when they are in danger or they can make lots of space to protect everyone.

  14. During the flight,everybody should keep the luggage in the right place,including the time after touching down,in order to keep everyone in a safe situation in case of any accidents.Nothing is more important than lives, I think these things should be shared in the preflight safety introductions

  15. When the plane is during the turbulence or any other adverse weather, passengers should put their luggage on the right place. This is the right way to protect them from the unwanted hurt. Some passengers don’t have situation awareness. They usually put their backpack under the chairs. It’s convenient for them to pick up the charge, but the bag is free to move. In some occasions, it’s too dangerous. I think the aviation company should check the chair every times.

  16. Everyone keeps the luggage in the right place is the actions responsible for their lives.The airplane’s safety is not just the captain’s responsibility,but the passganger’s.So i think the crew should tell every passengers in preflight in order to prevent the accident.

  17. In this accident,it is passenger’s improper behavior caused the accident occur.In fact,the crew had already told all the passengers where the luggage should put,but there are always some people do not obey the followings for their selfishness.Nothing is more important than lives,all people aboard should follow the crew’s instruction,only in this way can avoid unnecessary damage.

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